Two days before Markus Naslund is set to become the third player in Canucks history to have his number raised to the rafters, I can’t help but feel like anyone excited about this is forced to defend him. No question, his detractors are out there and there are a lot of people not in favour of his number being retired. Why? A lot of people didn’t like his demeanor, blame him for lack of playoff success or his perceived lack of leadership. But the real reason? A lot of fans have short memories.
In part two of our 40 greatest Canucks countdown series we look at the greatest players, 21-30. On Monday we revealed 31-40, which mostly featured players from the 1970s and 1980s. As we begin to take a look at the top 30, we begin to see more players from the best eras of Canucks hockey (you know, the eras that featured playoff games somewhat regularly). This is also where the list gets interesting:
The Canucks held their annual Summer Summit (formerly known as the state of the franchise) last night at Rogers Arena (yes, it will take a while to get used to the new name) where they announced that Markus Naslund will have his #19 jersey retired on December 11th. And so the debate begins: is he deserving of this honour? This was a debate Canuckz.com brought up at about this time last year, to which I thought he was deserving, but I thought the team ought to wait a few years before retiring it.